NEW IBERIA, La (KLFY) — Families across Acadiana are removing countless trees uprooted by Hurricane Delta, but a bee infestation is preventing one man from removing a trunk from his home.
“Right now it’s open for anyone to come in, and the thing that has come in is the bees,” said Girard Carter of New Iberia.
When Hurricane Delta blew a pecan tree into Girard Carter’s home, he got about 100,000 unbelievable roommates.
For a week he’s lived with a hole in his roof and no running water, gas, or electricity. He’s walked to a nearby park every day to charge his phone. With the majority of the tree over his bathroom, he’s used a bucket to replace his bathtub and toilet.
“I got stung today,” Carter admitted. “I’m in a bad condition right now, a sticky situation.”
Thankfully, the situation became a little less sticky Wednesday. Local beekeeper, Bruce Watson, removed the massive hive and collected the queen bee.
“And the bees on the outside would fan their wings so that the other bees would smell the queen, and they actually started going the box and they filled up the box last night,” said Watson of Triple Bee Farms.
He described the hive as big enough to fill a car trunk, and even though the hive is gone, there are still a few bees remaining, and no tree services will touch the trunk until the bees are gone.
Carter is hopeful he can get FEMA aid, so he rebuild a new home or find one like the bees have found at the Triple Bee Farms.
Since a few thousand stragglers stayed behind, Watson sprayed a mix of soap and vinegar on what was left of the hive to eliminate the queen’s scent.
“We were lucky that in this particular situation here we got a call to come get the bees,” expressed Watson about the endangered honey bees. “A lot of times, they’ll call a pest control guy or they’ll just go to town and buy some wasp and hornet spray or some kind pesticide, and they wind up killing all of the bees, and that way you lose the whole hive, and they have no chance of making it.”
After a few days, the bees will abandon the space to find a new hive, but a starting over isn’t that easy for Carter.
He said, “All I know is that I need help, and I need help fast. FEMA is too slow.”
If the bees survive Winter, they will be producing honey for the farm as early as next year. Carter is more worried about making it through the weekend. Tree services are expected to take the trunk off Carter’s home Monday.
The First Baptist Church in New Iberia has been helping Carter with food and getting the bees and tree off his home, but they know he’ll need more help to rebuild his home. If you are interested, you can reach Carter at 337-551-3292.